Flipping the classroom can sound daunting. Providing extra content to students – and then not having that content to present in class – can feel like a lot of extra work for even the most experienced educator. Whether you’re new to the flipped classroom model or a savvy veteran, you’ll need a lesson plan that incorporates the principles of a flipped classroom in a way that enhances student learning.
In the past ten years, flipping the classroom has taken the education world by storm. Music teachers, however, often feel left behind this wave of changes. As music educators know, the ensemble classroom is wildly different than other subjects. The combination of technical skills and artistic skills makes it hard to simply turn a lecture into a video.
In a previous SmartMusic blog post I shared some actionable tips for flipping the ensemble classroom. Today I’d like to focus on the history and efficacy of flipping the classroom and share a few tips to get started or to take your flipping to the next level.A Brief History of the Flipped Classroom
By now, most educators have at least a rudimentary understanding of the concept of flipping the classroom.
It’s back-to-school time. To help, we’ve got some new large ensemble titles. This month we’ve added two titles for choir, five for concert band, three for string orchestra, and four for jazz ensemble (including Gordon Goodwin’s killer arrangement of Herbie Hancock’ Watermelon Man). View the complete list of new ensemble pieces.
How do you help your students prepare for an important audition? Have you tried making etudes the focus of an entire lesson plan?
Of course, etudes have all sorts of applications to your concert repertoire. Helping students learn phrasing, lyricism, and technique will pay dividends come concert time, and might help your students secure that coveted honor band position as well.
Incorporating instrumental technique into your lesson plans doesn’t have to be dry and boring. In a previous blog post, we outlined ways that you can make teaching technique more accessible and fun for your students. Some of those approaches – like setting aside time every day – are straightforward to implement.
When I was a young student, my conscientious teacher put me on the standard regimen to learn my instrument. We began with scales, moved on to technique and etudes, and ended with solo music. Like many students, I did not enjoy practicing scales or etudes. In my view, they were musician torture and I didn’t understand why they were so important.
This month the spotlight is on Paul Baker’s funky jazz ensemble piece Arnge Drank (which is, of course, in SmartMusic). Rather than tell you how fun this grade 3 chart is, take a quick listen to this video of the All-American College Band playing it (with added tuba and French horns):
To help us provide performance suggestions for the piece, we went right to the source, Paul Baker, composer of Arnge Drank and owner of Baker’s Jazz And More Music Publishing.
In a recent poll, only 50% of music teachers responded that they feel supported by their administration. But relationships are always two-way streets. As educators, we can (and should) take the initiative to improve, nurture, and maintain great relationships with our administrators.
I promise you, it can be done, even if you’re convinced that your principal is the most frustrating administrator of all time.
How do you take a performance of a wind band standard to the next level? Inevitably, the answer involves phrasing, dynamics, and musicality. Of course, teaching these musical concepts can be difficult. You can make it easier by helping your students take ownership of their own musical decisions.
Using differentiated instruction in your lesson plan can also help.